The Juliet Dagger in concert is a force to be reckoned with.

The “Daggers” just may be one of the finest local bands to step out onto the national scene in recent years. Although their fame has not yet surpassed that of Buffalo favorites Ani DiFranco or the Goo Goo Dolls, they are slowly teetering on the edge of something great.

The Daggers returned home from a West Coast tour, just in time to play a packed Nietzsche’s on Nov. 5. The crowd was varied, yet dedicated and eager, although shy to listen to the band’s hard candy sound.

The band consists of Erin Roberts, lead vocalist and guitarist; Leisha Gray, bassist; and the lone male, Josh Heatley, on drums. These kids get together with their overwhelming talents to produce one hell of a show. They combine their individual energies, with Roberts burning the mic, Heatley killing the drums, and Gray cradling the bass, to form a scathing, ripping punk outfit.

The show featured many tracks from the band’s new CD, “Turn Up the Death.” Songs had consistent beats and rhythms, yet mixed each other up with different feels. You could see how tight and polished this band was becoming. The third song, “Only Love,” featured a reminiscence of a ‘50s bop. Think a twisted, fish-netted Ricki Lake in Hairspray.

The remake of “Our Lips Are Sealed” proved a true crowd pleaser. Yet, this song also provoked a grim response from Roberts.

“Just so you know, Hillary Duff did not write that song,” she said. “We recorded ours for the CD, and then this remake of hers just came out.”

By far, the best song on their new CD and of the show itself was the biting “Stab,” which probably causes grief for Heatley but encourages him to play even harder and crazier.

“This song is for boys we love and sometimes want to stab at the same time,” Roberts explained into the microphone.

“Stab” is a short song, fewer than two minutes in length, but it ferociously showcases the pure musical power of this band. It shows the band’s true working dynamic to combine together as a single unit with super fast play and chaos, producing a track very close to perfection. The extreme changes in tempo provide the most excellent script for disdain and disappointment, seething with climatic energy.

This band has truly emerged with only about a year or so of play together under its collective belts. They bring something true and clean to not only the Buffalo music scene, but the pop-punk scene in general. The Juliet Dagger may visualize pink daydreams, but it warps its image with hard dark rock roots. By Nicole Schuman

The pink skull and crossbones should have been a dead giveaway.

The hot pink guitar, too. And well, yes, the pink drums, as well.

But with the pink also comes a side of black and the angry “don’t fuck with me, I’m a chick who can play guitar” attitude